Encyclopedia Galactica - The Sci-Fi Recommendation Thread
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22-06-2013, 10:17 AM (This post was last modified: 22-06-2013 10:54 AM by ridethespiral.)
Encyclopedia Galactica - The Sci-Fi Recommendation Thread
It appears as if there is no thread for recommending Sci-if books. This should rectify the situation...

Try to follow the format if you can (author, title, review/spoiler free synopsis, cover) but any recommendation is better than none.

Here are a few to get the ball rolling, I've avoided 'The Big Three' but I'm sure they will come up in short order (because they are so damned awesome)...

Joe Haldeman - The Forever War
The forever war is an allegory for the Vietnam War of which Haldeman was a vetren. It explores the absurdity and horror of war using near light-speed time dilation and a mysterious enemy race as the primary story telling mechanisms when humanity battles for key strategic 'collapsars' (black holes) in space. The style is on a whole easily digestible, the concepts are heavy but the authors style makes them palatable and there is plenty of action. Despite winning the Nebula Award in 1975 and the Hugo and the Locus awards in 1976 it is easily one of the most under-recognized sci-fi novels I've read, and it's amazing. Which is why it is the first on my list.
[Image: foreverwar.jpg]

Dune - Frank Herbert
Probably my favorite sci-fi novel as of yet. When the house Atreides gains stewardship over the planet Arrakis (and the precious vision inducing drug 'spice' which it alone possess and which alone makes FTL travel possible for the empire/spacing guild) their enemies (house Harkonan) are not content with the change and the natives are prepared to protect their way of life, spice and the mysterious 'sand worms' inhabiting the world. It's one of the first novels to deal with the then emerging environmental movement. Dune is a maze of interpersonal and cultural complexity and is anything but a light read, there is plenty of character development, world development and pure philosophy...it's little bit like Game of Thrones in space. It details a galatic power struggle with layers and layers of intrigue and deception and deals heavily with nature of freedom/culture/society and the burdons of rulership. It also gets super deep into the nature of time and prophecy (especially in the following novels)....and there is a crazy freeman orgy and a movie with Patrick Stewart, need I say more?
[Image: Dune-1.jpg]

Larry Niven - The Draco Tavern
The best work of creature craft I've ever had the pleasure to read, even surpassing Niven's own Ring World/Know Space universe. In a world where humanity is just beginning to access the stars an entrepreneur runs the equivalent of a galactic truck stop in Siberia. The bar keep offers up his various insights on the various races visiting from all corners of the galaxy. It's super short and a real light read but that's good because it's very hard to put down.
[Image: dracotavern.jpg]

Freddrick Pohl - The Heeche Saga (Gateway (1977), Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980), Heechee Rendezvous (1984))
This is a really strong three book series that remindes me a bit of Clarks 'Rendezvous with Rama' but it is all together a lot less dry and a lot more expansive. It rounds all the bases of modern sci-fi, starting with the discovery of a fleet of decommissioned alien starships re-igniting the human drive for exploration. The book reads in a very modern and accessibly way, there is plenty of action and the larger concepts are explored through the actions/stories of the characters and not in the abstract...In subsequent novels it proceeds to deal with the singularity, a singularity, space colonization, first contact, you name it. Very few series I've read stay so strong after the first book.
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTAj8jy0B_vkTHAb5HXoux...i3dJmht6zp]

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22-06-2013, 03:26 PM (This post was last modified: 22-06-2013 03:39 PM by cbb2274.)
RE: Encyclopedia Galactica - The Sci-Fi Recommendation Thread
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
Hugo Award Winner - Best Novel, 2010

Like any good science fiction author, Bacigalupi's stories create fantastic worlds that allow the reader to explore ideas that are easily suited to our own world. The characters of The Windup Girl inhabit a seemingly plausible future in which fossil fuels no longer dominate the world economy, which is now fractured by the resulting loss of mass transportation and information technology. The chief sources of energy in this bleak future are human or animal labor. States and foreign "calorie companies" struggle for control of lab-created blights and plagues, and crops that are genetically-engineered to resist them.

Anderson snorted. ‘Where are you going to get the calories to wind your fancy kink-springs if a crop fails? Blister rust is mutating every three seasons now. Recreational generippers are hacking into our designs for TotalNutrient Wheat and SoyPRO. Our last strain of HiGro Corn only beat weevil predation by sixty percent, and now we suddenly hear you’re sitting on top of a genetic gold mine. People are starving—’

Yates laughed. ‘Don’t talk to me about saving lives. I saw what happened with the seedbank in Finland.’

‘We weren’t the ones who blew the vaults. No one knew the Finns were such fanatics.’

‘Any fool on the street could have anticipated. Calorie companies do have a certain reputation. ‘
‘It wasn’t my operation.’

Yates laughed again. ‘That’s always our excuse, isn’t it? The company goes in somewhere and we all stand back and wash our hands. Pretend like we weren’t the ones responsible. The company pulls SoyPRO from the Burmese market, and we all stand aside, saying intellectual property disputes aren’t our department. But people starve just the same.’ He sucked on his cigarette, blew smoke. ‘I honestly don’t know how someone like you sleeps at night.’


http://www.orbitbooks.net/extracts/an-ex...ndup-girl/

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22-06-2013, 03:31 PM
RE: Encyclopedia Galactica - The Sci-Fi Recommendation Thread
Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Oh, and also John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, to keep Chas happy.
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22-06-2013, 03:52 PM
RE: Encyclopedia Galactica - The Sci-Fi Recommendation Thread
(22-06-2013 03:31 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny.

Oh, and also John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, to keep Chas happy.

I like Zelazny; I'm so old that I read This Immortal and The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth when they were first published.

For those who don't know, he won a Hugo for the former and a Nebula for the latter.

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